The results of the 2018 election have finally been certified and they mean improved opportunities for students, better pay for our educators and staff, and improved buildings in Jeffco.
During this election cycle, I talked extensively with people in our community about their choices on the ballot. With ballot questions 5A and 5B as local measures and Amendment 73 at the state level, voters in Jeffco had important and meaningful options to consider.
5A is a $33 million mill levy override and has passed by a strong 55% to 45% margin. 5A resources will allow Jeffco to be more competitive with surrounding districts in our compensation levels and services we offer our students. Directly supporting our students, with 5A funds we will be able to make significant investments in school safety and security, career and technical education, curricular materials, and early childhood education.
5B is a $567 million bond package that turned out to be the ballot question “that could!” On election night, 5B was down around 9,000 votes. However, as more votes were counted, the “yes” votes on 5B just kept coming in and ultimately passed as well. 5B will allow for significant improvements to buildings all across Jeffco, including reinvesting in our established communities, and adding new facilities for learning in our county, and addressing growth areas in Jeffco.
Amendment 73 was not a local measure but was an amendment to the Colorado Constitution that would have brought $1.6 billion in new revenue into PreK-12 education. Requiring 55% to pass, it would have moved Colorado near, though not quite at, the national average when it comes to school funding. Voters in Colorado rejected Amendment 73 by a 46% to 54% margin. This means that the current education funding in Colorado will remain the status quo, and we will need to look to the future for possible solutions to the state’s structural and policy issues related to funding.
Together, 5A and 5B will have a tremendous positive impact on our schools. We are already working to revise our budgets and put in place construction plans so that our students and community start seeing the positive impacts of these two measures as soon as possible.
For those who support Jeffco Public Schools with ballot questions 5A and 5B, thank you! The passage of these two measures is a game-changer for schools in Jefferson County and for this we are grateful. For those who chose not to support 5A and 5B, we respect your reasons for that and we will work to use the funds in an impactful and meaningful way so that you are proud of your community’s schools.